The reasons why the headphones could stop working on the laptop

Updated: May 30, 2023
6 min read
The reasons why the headphones could stop working on the laptop
by Peter Davis
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Lack of sound in the headphones after you connect them to a laptop or desktop can be caused by various reasons. These can be divided into two main groups: software failures and hardware malfunctions. So what to do if the headphones do not work on your laptop or PC? We offer you several solutions and detailed instructions on how to fix such a problem.

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To find the reason why the headphones do not work on the computer, you must consistently diagnose all systems.

  1. First, you need to rule out the failure of the headphones themselves. Connect them to another device, such as a smartphone or DVD player, to do this. If the headphones sound fine, continue with the diagnostics.
  2. Use the correct jack to ensure the headphones have been appropriately connected to your computer. Some laptop models have identical jacks for recording devices and audio playback equipment. Check the connection – an appropriate sign should be near the input, or the jack should be green.
  3. Check the volume: the level is often at zero, so the sound doesn't work. Also, when you connect the headphones to the computer, it is worth checking the sound control on the product.
  4. System restore. Sometimes the headphones do not transmit sound because the operating system (OS) has been reinstalled or updated. Then, it is necessary to perform a system restore.
  5. Update or reinstall the drivers. When restoring the OS did not bring the desired result, and the laptop still does not see the headphones, you need to reload the drivers for the audio card or update them. This technique helps to eliminate the problems that occurred in the playback or related to sound recording.
  6. Trivial reasons. When you use the front panel of a desktop PC to connect, this connector may simply be disconnected. To fix the problem, go to Windows (Windows) Sound Manager and perform the simple steps:

If you cannot connect headphones to the front of the system unit, connect them to the audio card outputs on the back.

Why does Windows 10 not recognize the headset

If the PC hardware and headphones work correctly, it is likely that the OS does not see the headset due to a failure of sound settings or an incorrect sound card driver/built into the motherboard adapter.

In the standard situation, when you plug headphones into the 3.5 jack, the sound automatically plays through them, or a window prompts you to select which device is connected to the PC. By specifying a headset, the user transfers the sound to it. However, this does not always happen.

If the headphones don't play properly, the first thing to do is select "sound options" and see what options are displayed in the playback devices. If the headset is displayed, sometimes it is enough to switch to it and activate "use by default." In this case, after each connection, the audio will automatically play through them.

If this did not help, or there is no way to change the sound parameters in the tray, the probable problem is an outdated, non-working, missing driver. In the Device Manager, you can see the item "audio inputs and outputs." If there is a yellow or red icon next to the device name, or if this menu is empty at all, this confirms a software failure. In such a situation, you must download the correct driver from the hardware manufacturer's website.

How to set up a headset in Windows 7

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Setting up sound in Windows 7 is no different from newer operating system versions.

If the sound does not come to the headphones by itself, you need to open "Playback devices" via a special icon in the tray. If the desired headset is among the available devices, switch to it and click on "Use by default."

If the situation does not change, you must update the software. The best way to do this is through the sound card manufacturer's website. If it is not in the PC, i.e., the headphone output is installed in the motherboard, you need to update the software for the motherboard. The most common driver used is Realtek. You can go to the manufacturer's website and download the current software, taking into account the version of Windows.

Why the PC does not see the Bluetooth headset

Why the headphones stopped working on the laptop

Although the sound quality of wired headphones is still, in most cases, better than in Bluetooth models, some users have stopped using the former. As a rule, the connection does not cause much difficulty, but it is worth knowing how to deal with it if the synchronization fails. The instructions are given below.

Checking for proper connections

Before you consider complex options for fixing the failure, it is worth making sure that the pairing is done correctly from the beginning.

  1. A special button on the headset must be used to activate the search mode. Sometimes you just slide the switch to the proper position. Other times you need to hold the search/playback button for a few seconds. In its manual, you should look for the right option for your particular headset.
  2. Most Bluetooth headphones have an LED that flashes when searching for available devices to connect to.
  3. On the PC, you need to click on the Bluetooth icon in the tray and open "Add Bluetooth devices." If there is no icon, you need to open "Options" – "Devices" – "Bluetooth."
  4. Select the desired accessory and perform the pairing.

Possible malfunctions

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If following the synchronization instructions did not help, it is worth checking several reasons for the failure.

To begin with, you should make sure that your device is equipped with a Bluetooth module. This function has long been standard fo vr laptops, while desktop computers rarely have BT modules. To check the availability, go to the Device Manager and look for the inscription Bluetooth. If it does not, there is no built-in adapter – you will need an external USB module.

The second common cause of failure is a broken driver. In this case, look at the adapter's name in the Device Manager and download the software from the manufacturer's website. If you are talking about a laptop, you can simply find your model on the company's website and download all the necessary software for it.

Important: After installing/updating the driver, you must restart the device and try to re-synchronize it.

If the above recommendations do not help, the Bluetooth versions of the headset and PC are likely incompatible. If this is the case, you will need to find another accessory.

One final piece of advice: if there is no sound in your headphones on your computer or laptop, then do not fuss – calmly and methodically check all systems. Act on the method from simple failure to the complex case, and everything will work out. Otherwise, the headphones are simply out of order and must be repaired or replaced.

Howly expert is ready to help you with your Headphone problem


Invalid Date
My laptop also stopped recognizing headphones after a software update. It's frustrating! 😩
James Jackson
Invalid Date
What can I do if my laptop doesn't have a dedicated headphone jack? How can I connect my headphones?
1 reply
  1. NovaPhantom
    Invalid Date
    James Jackson, If your laptop doesn't have a headphone jack, you can use a USB audio adapter or a Bluetooth adapter to connect your headphones wirelessly.
Invalid Date
I had the same problem with my laptop. These troubleshooting tips saved the day! Thanks! 😊
Invalid Date
Are you using the correct audio drivers for your laptop?
Invalid Date
Why does my laptop make a crackling sound when I plug in my headphones? Is there a way to fix it?

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